Planning your wedding is a very exciting time, but it can also be a very stressful time if you don't hire the right person to help you along. There are so many decisions to be made: hiring the florist, hiring the photographer, booking the venue, developing a timeline, knowing how to cut off the guest list, choosing a color palette, trying to stay within budget, choosing bridesmaids, reserving hotel rooms...just to name a few. While a wedding planner can't make decisions for you (it's your day, after all), he or she can help you, guide you, and coordinate all of the tiny details so that some of the stress is alleviated for you. But where do you even begin in choosing the right wedding planner for you? Not every wedding planner will be the right fit for you, but with a few tips, you can find one that will be worth every penny and offer you the best service.
Do your homework. Google wedding planners in your area (or the area of the location of your wedding). Read through their reviews. Click on their websites, and look at their photos, their portfolios, their About page, all of it. Do you like what you see? Is it professional? Is it cohesive or scattered? Does the look of the weddings they've designed and planned seem like something you'd like? How are their reviews and testimonials? Is it easy to get in touch with them? Look at the services they offer. Does it sound like something you're interested in?
Narrow it down. While you're doing your homework, mark your favorites. Mark the ones that stand out to you. Choose anywhere from 3-5 of your top favorites, and contact them. Email or call - either is fine. But make sure they're available on the date of your wedding. Double-check on the types of services they offer, and ask for their price range. If they confirm everything, and if their price range fits within your budget, ask for a consultation or interview.
Set up and prepare for an interview. Make sure you meet with each of your favorites, and give each one a fair chance. Bring photos and even your Pinterest wedding board to the appointment so you can share your vision with the planner. Ask them questions to further clarify the quality of work they perform. Pay attention to their personalities, and ask yourself if each one seems like someone you could wholeheartedly trust and get along with for several months. Make sure you also ask them if they have any questions for you.
Listen to your gut. If something felt "off", then that person may not be a good fit for you. That's ok. Not everyone is. Choose the person you feel most comfortable with and trust that you are making a wise investment.
Sign the contract. Once you have made your decision, call your preferred wedding planner as quickly as possible to ensure he or she is available on your wedding date. Let him or her know that you'd like to move forward, sign the contract, pay the deposit, and get ready to start having fun with someone who will be by your side through the whole planning experience!
If you're still on the fence, stay tuned for next week when I'll give you 10 reasons why you should hire a wedding planner.